General Ionics - Don't buy General Ionics Water Filter

Posted on Friday, October 17th, 2008 at 1:46pm CDT by ebe36f20

Product: IQ Hygene Whole House Water Filter

Company: General Ionics

Location: CA, US

Category: Other

BEWARE... When you buy a General Ionics system, they strap you over the barrel on service costs. Has anyone else experienced this?

Yes, the product is great. Yes, it has a lifetime warranty. But, in order to maintain the system and the warranty, you need to have it serviced every 2 years. This includes having the filtration media changed. What they don't tell you when you're buying is the following: The service of your system is not a competitive industry. You can only have it serviced by them. This monopoly allows them to jack up the price. And, you have to pay it or else your system won't work and they'll void your warranty!

I bought a system in 2000. My first service in 2002 was $116. Now the same service only 6 years later is $220! That's a price jump of 90% in 6 years.

When I called to complain, they coddled me with, "All prices go up. That's inflation. Ford couldn't possibly sell cars for the same price as 50 years ago." Are you kidding me? Six years, not 50! And, 90% is a tad out of step with standard inflation indexes. Imagine the Ford Focus costing 90% more in 6 years, with no change in the quality of product. I don??t think they??d be moving to many Foci (the correct plural of Focus).

So, then they said that I bought the "Cadillac" and it costs ??Cadillac prices?? to maintain it. That??s when I started thinking how ironic it is that they sound like car salesmen. But, I'm not comparing the cost of maintaining a Cadillac to maintaining a Ford. I'm comparing the cost of maintaining a Cadillac now to the cost only six years ago. And, it's gone up 90%! Imagine if cost of your oil change at your Cadillac dealer nearly doubled in 6 years.

Then, they griped about the cost of gas because it is a service industry ?? they come to our home, instead of our taking the filter in to them. Yes, during this period, gas has gone up approximately $2.70/gallon. But, it's only a 20 mile round trip to my house (which I assume is fairly average). Assuming their vehicle gets only 15 mi/gal (fairly conservative), that only explains an increase of $3.60 over the last 6 years. Not, an increase of $104!

Next, they whined that the cost of silver has gone up. After all, General Ionics uses silver impregnated carbon. Yes, after holding steady around $5/oz for a long time, silver increased to a high of $20/oz in March of 2008. Now it has settled back down to around $10/oz. That??s a net change of $5/oz. Do you really think there is a pound and a quarter of silver in there?! That??s how much it would take to explain a $100 price increase due to silver.

Finally, after blowing through their crap, talking to three GI reps in two states (including the national director of sales), a regional director of sales admitted that the problem was that the company used to intentionally depress the service cost in order to make sales. Bull. Nobody does that because it doesn??t work. If you want to increase sales, you depress the sales cost and make it up by increasing your service cost, not the visa-versa. That is, unless they are admitting that they needed the service figures low to support their sales scam of showing you how much less expensive it is to have their product versus buying bottled water.

Nonetheless, he was admitting that the company roped me into buying with lower than sustainable service costs. Then, once they got many customers over the barrel, they jacked the costs up. Sounds a bit like the sub-prime mortgage scam, doesn??t it? Now, they??re basically saying, ??Sucks to be you. Sorry. But that??s the way it is. Either pay the price we dictate, or your filter won??t work and you??ll void the warranty.?? I??m stuck over the barrel. So, the only thing I can do is warn their potential customers?

Simple bottom line: Don??t buy a General Ionics water filter.

Life lesson: If buying a product that requires regular maintenance, ask if the maintenance is a competitive industry. If not, then realize the seller controls a monopoly on your required maintenance. That??s not good. So, if that??s the case, ask for price guarantees on future maintenance. If they won??t give it, don??t buy their product.


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856f0217, 2009-01-30, 05:57PM CST

We too are in the same boat as everyone else, with a water softener that cost as much to have it serviced as it does to go to Sears and buy a whole new system. We let our warranty void for we refused to pay the outrages service fees. We bought ours years ago when water softeners just came out and paid over $2000 for the system. We have a HUGE blue tank that takes up alot of room in our basement. This is one time we really wish we would have shopped around but were younger and really didnt think it through. When we called to complain about the service costs we too were told the same thing most the others were told. When I mentioned we were going to go and get another one they tried to tell me that the others out there in the stores are junk and you will get what you pay for. The way I look at it, we are getting another system and even if we have to replace it a time or two I think we will still be ahead when you compare what you pay for it versus what the service costs would be to keep the general ionics one.

95b537e6, 2009-02-14, 08:17AM CST

I have had a General Ionics system for over 25 years and it works great. This guy is just mad about everything. Face it everything goes up in price. My truck cost me in 2000 $17,500 dollars. I bought the same truck again in 2006 and paid $28,500. I used to get a TV signal for free but now I have to pay 99.00 a month for cable.

0c1af4c4, 2009-07-13, 11:01AM CDT

Works great? You are out of your mind, I have mine since 2004, it filters, but come on, it's not rocket science. It developped a leak the first year, how is that for great. They require us to service it every year, for about $200.00. We just plain and simply stopped the scam. When the filter stops working, I'll just go to lowes and pick up one of their filters.

Am I mad with them ? HELL YEA. Am i mad with the @##$# that typed that this filter has been working great for 25 years? HELL the @##$ YEA! it's probably ionics trying to convince other people to buy their crap. It's just a #$$% dumb old filter, not rocket science damn it

9e55de07, 2009-09-04, 11:00AM CDT

I dumped ionics STAT when they visited and said a simple valve repair/replacement would be $750 and filters $200 for a nifty $1,000 repair.

So...the re-cycling scrap value for the ionics stainless steel tank and brass made a great down payment on a softening system from Lowes.

76a5723c, 2010-08-21, 09:38AM CDT

Get over yourself dude. Did you really call General Ionics a "monopoly"? Not sure what business school you went to but they are nowhere close to the true definition of a monopoly. You obviously have way too much anger and time on your hands to write this much nastiness about a water purification system.

For the record we've had a General Ionics system for over 15 years and it has been awesome. The water is smooth as silk, completely odorless, crystal clear and tastes great! Listen, you get what you pay for. If you want cheap go to Lowes, Sears or Home Drippo to pick up a cheap system and that's exactly what you'll get. If you want a solid system that will last a lifetime and give you great performance then this is the system for you. Will there be a cost to maintain it? Yep, but so does everything else in your house that's worth keeping. Take care!

946521e4, 2011-08-08, 11:20PM CDT

I am a retired manufacturing engineer. I am shocked how much merchants mark their products up today. When I began working in my field, a 25 to 30% markup was good profit. Today, if a merchant cannot make 300 to $400 and up profit, they will not sell it. Example: Did a job for Penn. manufacturer of ion generators. One unit cost them $7.12 to manufacture. They sell it for $35. The End retailer sells it any where from $165 to $199. Two national brands of radar detectors cost less than $17 to manufacture. Two separate manufacturers/retailers sell them for $399 and $499. I have a water distiller that if I purchased it would cost $3500. I built it for less than $50. I can name many many products that are like that. If you cannot get replaceable parts but from one source, then expect to be taken to the cleaners price wise.

9fe8b61a, 2011-10-17, 05:17PM CDT

Service the system your self, changing the meadia, valves or pump is no big deal for someone with basic mechanical skills. If you can tune up your car you can maintain these units.

4b643790, 2012-02-12, 09:33PM CST

I have had the IQ since 2000, let's face it they are scamming us on maintenance! Scam lets be real here do a comparison on any other system. They have recently changed there name, not sure why? Maybe to many complaints to BBB!

72149c58, 2012-02-28, 08:57PM CST

I bought a house in 2000 with a general ionics system. We had it serviced every year. I have been called every week for about 2 months to schedule a service call. Well about a week ago the bottom of the tank started leaking so when they called again to schedule the service call I asked what about the lifetime warranty on the tank. BECAUSE IT IS LEAKING ! they told me they wont honor any warranty because i didnt purchase the unit. Well they would sell me a new system for $2500.00.

NO THANKS AND NO WAY..THIS SYSTEM ISN'T WORTH $2500. I guess its off to the scrapyard.....DONT BUY GENERAL IONICS !!

69524c5a, 2012-05-23, 01:55PM CDT

I've had the system for 8 years so far. It's the best water you can have. We call it our "NASA" water. We pay for the service and it's maybe every 2 years or so and 200 dollars or so is well worth the amazing water.

6828ddd7, 2013-05-31, 06:17AM CDT

I bought a system in the early 80's never had a problem. Lookin to buy another for other home.

Orvil F., 2013-11-15, 12:10PM CST

I've had a General Ionics unit for 20 years and it has worked great! I have had it serviced about every 18 months. I am buying a new Purionics model to replace it, before I start having issues. Nothing last forever.

John M., 2014-02-01, 11:09AM CST

local company here in Missouri wants $350 to service my IQ1240b softener..

where can I purchase filters or media for this unit??

Any help with this info. is greatly appreciated.

cd67c033, 2014-08-19, 08:04PM CDT

i to own a service company. You do have to remember that while it may only be a 20 mile round trip to your house I'm sure the company you are dealing with has a much larger area than that. i service customers for the same price up to 60 miles away from my shop. you are fortunate enough to live only 10 miles from the location. If pain the trip charge bothers you that much why don't you see if you can simply take your filter into them have them service it and then you reinstall it.

5b009429, 2015-05-03, 10:11PM CDT

I too am unhappy with how they jacked up the costs. At one point to "help me" they revealed I did not have to use their expensive salt pellets, but could use morton salt pellets instead, which is less than $4 each as Sam's.

-We will be scrapping the system

-posting a sign at the end of out driveway, at a major cross roads, not to buy their products.

- will also make bumper sticker for our cars to do the same

We have has their product for twenty years and can no longer afford it. It is now cheaper to buy a system at Loews or HD that to pay their annual maintenance.

I do agree it is a monopoly as no one else can service it. I have three college degrees and know what a monopoly is.

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